Monday, February 21, 2022

All You Need Is Love: New titles celebrate all things Beatles

The enormous and enduring impact of The Beatles is showcased via a trio of new titles in my column this week.

The Beatles
Documentary Title: The Beatles and India (Silva Screen Productions/Renoir Pictures)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, 1960s pop culture
Tell me more: The arrival of a Special Edition of The Beatles' Let It Be in October 2021 marked the beginning of a number of special Fab Four-centered titles issued in recent months. In addition to Peter Jackson's acclaimed 8-hour docuseries "Get Back" available via Disney+ beginning in November 2021, the insightful feature-length documentary "The Beatles and India" can be seen via BritBox in North America (the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV).  The outstanding 95-minute documentary revisits the significant role that Indian music and culture played on The Beatles. A wealth of new and archival interviews and expert commentary along with historic previously-unseen photographs and film footage shed a spotlight on The Beatles' famous trip taken to India in early 1968 where they stayed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh (located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India). Other touchstones that showcase the heavy influence that India had on John, Paul, George and Ringo are also examined. Even long-time fans will learn fascinating details viewing "The Beatles and India." In addition, influential figures such as composer-musician Ravi Shankar are rightly explored in this documentary. At one point, we hear John Lennon reflect: "The happiest time of my life   one of the happiest times was in India   and it was such a groove. It was such a pure thing...." George Harrison   the Beatle most impacted by the music of India  is clear in explaining that nation's profound impact on him: "When I first heard Indian music, I just couldn't really believe that it was so great, and the more I heard of it, the more I liked it. It just got bigger and bigger, like a snowball."  Information:

Karsh Kale, Anoushka Shankar, Vishal Dadlani, Kiss Nuka, Benny Dayal, Nikhil D'Souza, more
Title: The Beatles And India: Songs Inspired by the Film (Silva Screen Records)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison
Tell me more: A perfect companion to the wonderful "The Beatles and India" documentary, The Beatles And India: Songs Inspired by The Film presents 19 stellar interpretations from the Fab Four's songbook artfully revisited by Indian artists. Many of the standouts on the disc include songs written during The Beatles' 1968 extended stay in Northern India in early 1968; the majority of those specific songs wound up on the quartet's 1968 double-album The Beatles (better known as "The White Album"). Highlights on The Beatles And India: Songs Inspired by the Film include Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Kiss Nuka's ethereal "Tomorrow Never Knows," Karsh Kale's lovely "Mother Nature's Son," Dhruv Ghanekar's creative genre-blending "Julia," an enthralling take on "The Inner Light" featuring Anoushka Shankar (Ravi Shankar's daughter) and Karsh Kale, and a powerful reading of "Sexy Sadie" by Siddharth Basrur and Neil Mukherjee. Nikhil D'Souza's wistful take on "Martha My Dear," Anupam Roy's beautiful "Child of Nature" (a song later re-written and recorded by John Lennon as "Jealous Guy") and a modern take on "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill" from Mumbai-based cappella group Raaga Trippin' are also among the gems featured on the marvelous collection. Information:  

The Signature Edition of Ringo Starr's "Lifted: Fab Images and
Memories In My Life with The Beatles from Across The Universe."

Ringo Starr
Title: Lifted: Fab Images and Memories In My Life with The Beatles from Across The Universe (Julien's Auctions)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, Ringo Starr, rock and roll photography, 1960s pop culture
Tell me more: In early 2021, Ringo Starr shared his 30-year journey with his illustrious All Starr Band via the wonderful hardcover edition "Ringo Rocks: 30 Years of the All Stars." Now the world's most famous drummer has again teamed with Julien's Auctions on a must-have hardcover edition of particular interest to Beatles aficionados. The newly-released "Lifted: Fab Images and Memories In My Life with The Beatles from Across The Universe" is an impressive 224-page hardcover edition bolstered by Starr's insightful writing, colorful recollections and top-tier photography. Starr worked together with journalist-author David Wild while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the book, collecting images from his personal archives and from the Internet in order to complete the ambitious project. “These fantastic images came back to me in recent years from across the universe and have somehow helped me get back to seeing my life with The Fab Four through fresh eyes,” Ringo says in a statement connected to the release of "Lifted." “A lot of the photos in this book I saw on my phone and on my computer and I lifted them because they brought back so many fabulous memories.” 

Two editions of "
Lifted" are currently available — a Collector's Edition that’s priced at $59 and a Signature Edition that costs $495. The Signature Edition, limited to just 500 copies, features a color cover of The Beatles signed by Ringo Starr and will come housed in a special slip case. Proceeds from the sale of "Lifted" will benefit Starr's Lotus Foundation, which funds and supports charitable projects that focus on various social welfare causes. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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